Monday, September 26, 2016

White Wing Bunkers

Due to the recent rain and the staff wanting to get out and edge and trim the bunker surrounds we will be playing the White Wing Bunkers as Ground Under Repair for the next few days. We will keep the pro shop updated on the progress and get the bunkers back in play as soon as the maintenance has been completed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Army Worms

During the Club Championship tournament today we were alerted by a golfer that they had noticed some worms on the #1 green at White Wing. We went out to investigate and found some Army worms in that area. We started inspecting the other areas of the golf course and found that we have a very large amount of them in the roughs and tee surrounds. We have ordered the appropriate insecticide and will be making an application to take them out quickly before they do any further damage. If you or any of your playing partners ever notice anything like this please feel free to bring it to our attention, we greatly appreciate the extra set of eyes.

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is part of the order of Lepidoptera and is the larval (see caterpillar) life stage of a fall armyworm moth. It is regarded as a pest and can wreak havoc with crops if left to multiply. Its name is derived from its feeding habits. They will eat everything in an area, and once the food supply is exhausted, the entire "army" will move to the next available food source.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sun City Golf Irrigation update

Just wanted to give a quick update on the challenges we are facing on the golf courses with the irrigation. We started noticing a few weeks ago that our irrigation heads were becoming clogged up with a type of algae. Due to this you may have noticed hot spots on the 3 courses. We are continually cleaning out the heads and parts and flushing them out as we speak. One of the pics below we had to clean out within 6 days of cleaning it out the first time. We are in the process of determining a solution to the problem. So in the meantime bear with us as there may be some wet spots in fairway and roughs as we try to catch these areas back up and try to stay off dry areas if you can.

Thanks Golf Maintenance

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

White Wing fairway aerification

Over the next week we will be completing our fairway aerification on the White Wing golf course. During this time we will do our best to insure that the plugs are cleaned off before play but there may be a fairway or two that you play that will still have plugs on the ground. Please remember that a ball that comes to rest in a fairway aerification hole can be played as ground under repair and you may take the proper relief. Thank you for your patience during this process and remember it's a practice that is done to provide better quality conditions for all our golfers! Thank you, Golf Staff 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Golf Maintenance Changes

We would first like to start off by wishing former Cowan Creek Superintendent Craig Loving a fond farewell. He has accepted the Head Superintendent position at Lost Creek Country Club in Austin which is a great opportunity for him to advance his career. He will be greatly missed at Sun City and we wish him the best on his new endeavor!

So, with Jonathan Ayers leaving White Wing a few weeks ago, and now Craig Loving leaving Cowan Creek there a lot of changes in the Golf Maintenance management scenery here at Sun City.

The following management changes are effective immediately:

Reagan Olson (Legacy Hills Supt.) is now the Supt. at Cowan Creek
Billy Houts (Legacy Hills Assistant Supt.) is now the Head Supt. at Legacy Hills
Kris Morin (The Quarry Golf Club Supt.) is the new Head Supt. at White Wing

This should be a fairly seamless transition since all but one of the positions are internal moves within our company. We are excited to have a new set of eyes on each of the properties and it should provide us with a new level of course conditions and attention to detail.

We would also like to take this time to thank Blake Mathis (Assist. Supt at White Wing) for taking charge of White Wing Golf Maint. as the Interim Supt. for the last few weeks and keeping the course in excellent shape while we go through these management changes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Verti-Cutting Greens

Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing some aggressive verti-cutting on our greens in an effort to remove more thatch from the greens canopy. This practice often leaves some scarring on the greens as seen in the attached photo. This does not affect ball roll and will actually help increase green speed and smoothness. The scarring or "scalped" looking areas will quickly heal and look back to normal within a week's time. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Farewell White Wing Superintendent Jonathan Ayers

Tomorrow marks the end of an era as White Wing Superintendent Jonathan Ayers will spend his last day with us at Sun City. I have had the pleasure of working with Jon for the past 12 years and we have had both good and bad times but more than anything we have had many great times! Not only has he been a valued co-worker but he has been a great friend with a heart of gold. He will be greatly missed at Sun City and we wish he and his family the best in his future endeavors. Best Wishes Jonathan! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cowan Creek Greens Update

As some of you have noticed, we are dealing with a minor issue in the low areas (#4 right side, #7 front right, etc.) and on #8 green.  The following paragraphs will detail the current problem, what we've done and are doing to combat the issue, as well as future measures and expected recovery.


  What We Are Seeing:  The algae you are seeing is cyanobacteria (not actually algae), which we found from the results of a diagnostics test we sent off from #8 green on 4/18/16.  So the darker slimy areas that you have seen as well as the surrounding yellowing areas are all a result of cyanobacteria.  The formation of cyanobacteria in the low areas or high traffic areas is there this time of year for several reasons.  The most prevalent of these is poor drainage and wet conditions (surface moisture).  The mechanical stress and foot traffic compaction also aids the growth of cyanobacteria.  With the heavy rainfall we received throughout April, along with days with inadequate sunlight, combined with ridiculously poorly constructed drainage systems are all contributions to these results.  As we check moisture 2-3 days a week for hot spots, we also check our low areas.  A majority of those areas maintain 40-50% moisture, and the acceptable moisture range for our greens is typically between 18-24%.  During the growing season, they dry faster and are easier to maintain with higher evapotranspiration rates.  However, throughout the winter and up to this time of year, the ET rates are lower and we have to mechanically open up pore space with solid aerification tines.  What we are seeing is a winter's worth of wet conditions and traffic stress, and this spring hasn't been kind on us with consistent, periodic rain and shade from cloud cover.  What is visible now is something that happens this time every year, but to a lesser degree.


  The Underlying Problem:  We found on that Monday (4/18/16) that the daylight to #8 green's drainage was submerged due to the recent rain, which basically suffocated the green and caused it to react as it did.  we've since found out that the pipe has a sink in it 30 feet from the edge of the native, so there is a pocket in the pipe that holds water.  This normally would not be an issue as long as the daylight is completely void of water, but I didn't discover the sink in the pipe until that week.  In addition, the drainage system to the pipe is 3-4 feet deeper than a normal USGA spec system, and this is the case for all of the greens where we have exposed the drainage pipe (#9, #6, #4, #13, etc.) to add 4-ways and knife valves.

  The Attack Plan:  The following paragraph details what we've consistently done for 3+ years, as well as how we are addressing the problem with what we've seen this spring.  On 4/18/16 we cleaned the daylight of #8 green, sent off a sample for diagnostics, and injected air into #8 with our air2g2 machine.  In addition, we sprayed Oxyflor (hydrogen peroxide aqueous solution) and Pervade (soil penetrant/surface tension reducer) to #8, #9, #3, #4, and #5.  On that Tuesday we finished cleaning out any other daylights that had potential for submersion, as well as re-trenched all the drainage trenches.  We also aerified all of the low areas and areas showing cyanobacteria or anaerobic areas with a 1/4" pencil tine, and all of the greens were sprayed with two fungicides (chlorothalinil and a phosphite fungicide) for the cyanobacteria.  That Thursday we blew air into all of the greens that we have installed 4-ways and knife valves on (#1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 13).  We also hand spiked and topdressed those areas last week and again this week to mechanically remove the wet/slimy soil and replace it with sand.  On Monday (5/2/16) we pencil tine aerified all of the greens, and our next round of fungicides specified for the cyanobacteria was sprayed on Saturday morning (5/7/16).  We are in the process of adding a 4-way and knife valve to #8 this week, and in order to find the pipe we rented a camera snake for a week.  The vent from the 4-way alone should help #8 in the long run, and the overall goal would be to have them installed on all 20 greens at Cowan Creek.  Supposedly there are blowouts (pipes on the high ends of greens where gases can escape), but we've looked for years using a deep-tine aerifier and probes all to no avail.  We confronted the construction superintendent, and he couldn't help in that regard, nor could he point us in the direction of any as-built drainage maps.  We've utilized the time with the camera snake discovering other challenges to overcome with our greens' drainage elswhere.  Feel free to read a report written on the blog in 2013 about the implementation of sub-surface airflow on how we manage greens with poorly constructed drainage:

  The Bottom Line:  Even with all of the cultural practices, chemical applications, and our current fertility plan, results may not be visually apparent until the daytime and nighttime temperatures rise and we receive adequate sunlight.  The shoots and roots beneath the algal mats are still healthy and should recover with time as the weather gets warmer.  Unfortunately, we can't do much about the greens' drainage system construction.  Our management plan has adapted over the years to combat our drainage deficiencies, and we've done a good job on the whole minimizing the weak spots in the spring.  I'm confident that these areas will improve in short time, and we will ensure that these areas have no major negative affect on playability.  We are taking every needed step to speed up recovery, but these areas may be an eyesore for the time being. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Legacy Hills: Cart Entry and Exits #9 Sodded

We sodded the Cart Entry and Exits on #9 today and will be CPO on the hole until it grows in and establishes. Once we are able to open this hole back up we will be on 2 week interval of CPO for holes #1 and #9. These two holes have very little entry and exit points so this will help out the turf quality.